Wayne County, IL


Massey-Harris General Purpose Tractor

Picture courtesy of Michael J. Von Gebel


Massey-Harris General Purpose Tractor was produced from 1930-1936. The 24.8 H.P. 1200 rpm, 226 cu. in. Hercules engine delivered 19.9 H.P. at the drawbar.  Four wheel drive through equal size wheels the transmission offered three forward speeds.  This tractor is owned by Ken Buchheit owner of Buchheit’s Hardware and Farm Supply stores.

The firm was founded in 1847 in Newcastle, Ontario by Daniel Massey as the Newcastle Foundry and Machine Manufactory. The company began making some of the world's first mechanical threshers, first by assembling parts from the United States and eventually designing and building their own equipment. The firm was taken over and expanded by Daniel's eldest son Hart Almerrin Massey who renamed it the Massey Manufacturing Co. and in 1879 moved the company to Toronto where it soon became one of the city's leading employers. The massive collections of factories on King St. West became one of the best known features of the city. Massey expanded the company and began to sell its products internationally. Through extensive advertising campaigns he made it one of the most well known brands in Canada. The firm owed much of its success to Canadian tariffs that prevented the larger American firms from competing in Canada.  A labor shortage throughout the country also helped to make the firm's mechanized equipment very attractive.

 In 1891, Massey merged with the A. Harris, Son & Co. Ltd. to become Massey-Harris Co. and became the largest agricultural equipment maker in the British Empire. In 1910, the company acquired the Johnson Harvester Company located in Batavia, New York, making it one of Canada's first multinational firms. In the 1930s, it introduced the first self-propelled combine harvester. Massey-Harris also produced one of the world's first four-wheel drive tractors. Hart Massey's sons, Charles, Chester, Walter, and Fred became closely involved in the business and eventually took over its operations. They were, however, the last generation of Massey’s to run the company. Other members of the family went on to do other accomplishments: Vincent Massey became Governor General of Canada and Raymond Massey became a noted actor in American films.

In 1953, the company merged with the Ferguson Company to become Massey-Harris-Ferguson, before finally taking on its current name in 1958.




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